The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation sponsors the contest and winners will be announced in the grand lobby of the Akron Art Museum on October 5. First place receives $5,000 and the honor of displaying their piece in the Akron Art Museum for the week following the competition. There will be five $1,000 runner-up prizes awarded as well.
The competition was open to solo and collaborative artists, as well as two- or three-dimensional pieces. Voting takes place during a limited timeframe and is only allowed within Downtown, encouraging voters to attend and experience the events.
“There has been steady traffic in the galleries and responses from the patrons have been all positive. We currently have tallied nearly 2,000 votes, which is more than last year’s competition in total,” said Sharon Gillberg, communications director at DAP. “We anticipate a big closing weekend and are looking forward to the finale at the Akron Art Museum.”
Votes are cast via text using smart phones or a feature phone and each person has up to 10 votes they can spend, but they have to be for different artists. Gillberg said this year, DAP added tablet computers to each Art Prize venue for those without cell phones or a texting plan.
“We’ve received a lot of compliments on expanding this to allow for more participation and to reach a broader audience,” she added.
The public will have the opportunity to talk with Art Prize artists and others at an artist mixer located at Zeber-Martell Studio and Gallery on Furnace Street from 6 – 8 p.m. So far, three mixers have been held and tomorrow will be the last.
“Last week’s event at Summit Artspace saw the largest crowd yet at nearly 250 people,” Gillberg said. “The idea came from artists last year who suggested opportunities to network with their peers. It’s worked out nicely to have each Art Prize location host these to encourage people to visit to all of the venues.”
The Akron Art Museum will open at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5 for the closing ceremonies, and the winners will be announced at 9:45 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m. patrons will enjoy a woodwind quintet from the Akron Symphony Orchestra and slide show presentation of the Art Prize entrants. A cash bar will be available with appetizers prepared by Zack’s Fire & Ice beginning at 8 p.m.
“It’s great that the competition allows for all levels of artists, from the beginner to the professional,” Gillberg added. “It provides an outlet for anyone to have his or her art work shown. There really is nice variety and diversity to the types of art being shown.”
Voting locations include Akron Glass Works, Summit Artspace, We Gallery and Zeber-Martell. Further information can also be found at www.downtownakronpartnership.com/artprize.